|Mary was born on January 23, 1927 in Melrose Park, Illinois and went to meet her Lord on November 5, 1997 in Eunice, Louisiana.
Mary’s parents were Italian immigrants who, from her earliest memory, instilled in her and her sisters and brothers a deep love for God, as well as the importance of education. These loving parents taught their children that there was nothing they could not accomplish with God’s guidance and their hard work. This constant encouragement started Mary on the road to a positive self-image.
Mary grew up speaking Italian as her first language; therefore she had a great love for language. This love led Mary to Greenville College where she received a degree in Language Education. It was during these college years that she met Kenneth Chapman, a country boy from Louisiana. After her graduation, she and Ken were married on August 13, 1949.
Mary began teaching in Illinois. After moving to Eunice, Louisiana where Ken taught English at Louisiana State University in Eunice, Mary taught English, Spanish and Reading at Eunice High School for twenty-five years. Mary was not only a teacher; she was a pastor’s wife and mother of five children, one boy and four girls. During their married life, Ken and Mary served for almost forty years in the Free Methodist and United Methodist Churches. As United Methodist pastor and wife, Ken and Mary served Palmetto and Melville for twenty-two years.
Mary also loved to travel, and she instilled this love in the lives of many people by leading several tours to Mexico, England, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Hawaii, Japan and Thailand. Yes, Mary was a remarkable individual who used her talents to bring knowledge to all she met.
After Ken and Mary retired, she joined the First United Methodist Church in Eunice. Mary sang in the choir, served on the Administrative Council and helped wherever she was needed. This loving mother, wife and friend will be missed by all that knew her. Mary is survived by her husband, Kenneth Chapman, Sr., son, Kenneth Chapman, Jr., daughters, Nancy Deckman, Susan Goble, Lisa Stephens and Jeanne Tanner.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1998; p. 244 By Rev. Gary Van Horn|